Today I came across this New York Times article which describes some of the techniques that Google is employing to hire new talent. There were two points that caught my attention, the first being the non-disclosure agreement that Google requires interview candidates to sign. Personally I detest such draconian measures, but I see now why Google needs such an agreement. It isn’t because they are concerned that candidates will spill the beans on the questions Google asks during an interview, or that you might expose their next super-awesome-secret project. No, in fact, Google does not want the candidates to tell others how much they were spoiled during the “wooing” process.
But there was some wining and dining on the part of Google, which Ms. Chang would not discuss in detail because she had signed a nondisclosure agreement.
There you go then, you have to sign an NDA so you can’t tell your friends how much champagne and caviar Google fed you. And you can’t describe the questions you were asked. But the caviar thing is more important, certainly.
The second point that is a bit of a detractor for me, is that Google wants to hire “integrators”, people who do not draw a line between home and office life. Integrators will go home at the end of the day and log on to the office network to continue working, even over the weekend.
“This is exactly the kind of person they want,” Mr. Nguyen said, “someone who is going to work and solve problems on a Saturday and enjoy it.”
The only problems I like to solve on a Saturday involve tasks around the home. I love my family and I like being home on the weekends. I am definitely what they would call a “segmentor”, most likely not a suitable Google candidate.
Even so, I’m certain I would not get far in the interview process, given the stories that came out before the era of the NDA. But I can at least brag that two Google recruiters have written to me concerning employment with Google. At the time I responded with “Thank you, but I’m happy where I am.” That was two months ago. Now, I would reconsider their invitation. The experience of interviewing would be worth the annoyance of their NDA.